There appears to be a problem for some users trying to interact with iCloud, according to posts on Reddit and Apple’s support forums, as well as for one reader who contacted AppleInsider. These incidents happened after iOS 16.3 received security updates that enabled the use of physical security keys to secure accounts and expanded Advanced Data Protection outside of the United States.
After updating to iOS 16.3, some iCloud users are experiencing issues syncing with iCloud Drive, Photos, and backup upload. This all appears to be related to the absence of two-factor authentication.
According to user reports, they observe a message reading “There was an unexpected error. Please try once more soon “after attempting to turn on features that had been previously turned off post-update and were active and functional. These features include, among others, iCloud Drive and iCloud Backup.
There are a few reports of users experiencing the same problem even though two-factor authentication is already enabled, so there is a chance that the problem could be caused by something else.
It appears from user reports that two-factor authentication is typically not enabled. Follow-up reports show that there are some situations where disabling two-factor authentication on the Apple ID can be a workaround, but not everyone wants to do that.
Apple’s iCloud data security overview states that two-factor authentication must be enabled on an account for “All new Apple IDs” and that it is necessary for a number of other ecosystem features, including end-to-end encryption.
In December 2022, Apple released Advanced Data Protection in the US, adding end-to-end encryption to iCloud Drive, device and Messages backups, Photos, and other components. On January 23, the service was extended to additional nations.
Additionally, it appears that some users have tried to contact Apple’s support, indicating that Apple is aware that something is wrong with the system.